Data | Indians and Pakistanis spend 17% of their income on fuel, the highest share in the world

India is among only eight countries that increased petrol price between April and June

October 21, 2020 12:55 pm | Updated October 29, 2020 05:27 pm IST

An Indian Oil Corporation petrol pump in Ahmedabad. File

An Indian Oil Corporation petrol pump in Ahmedabad. File

Despite crude oil prices crashing in April , retail petrol prices stayed the same as the Centre’s excise duty component recorded multiple sharp increases . With fuel consumption nearing pre-COVID levels now, the government will earn substantial income to augment its dwindling coffers.

However, the average Indian citizen, along with the average Pakistani citizen, spends 17% of her income on fuel, the highest share in the world. India is among the few countries that increased their fuel price in the last year despite crude prices crashing.

Back in the black

Petrol consumption in India neared pre-COVID levels in September after crashing in April due to movement restrictions. Graph shows consumption in thousand metric tonnes.


Chart appears incomplete? Click to remove AMP mode

Fall and rise

The price of crude oil in October is 42% lower than what it was at the start of FY21, while the price of petrol increased by 12% in the same period.


An outlier

The graph plots the average petrol price in April-June 2020 in 59 countries against the change in petrol price compared to the same period in 2019. Petrol prices increased in this period in only eight countries. It increased by over 10% only in India and Egypt.


Low affordability

An average Indian, similar to a Pakistani national, spends* 17% of her day’s income on fuel. No other citizen in the rest of the 57 economies analysed spends more than 10% of her daily income on fuel.


Source:, *based on IMF’s 2019 GDP per capita figures, PPAC, Bloomberg

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.